Introduced at the New York International Auto Show in April 2003, the 2004 Mitsubishi Galant is appreciably larger than its predecessor and features notably different styling. Considered by the company as an all-new model, the front-wheel-drive Galant sedan has been given a full makeover both inside and out.
Mitsubishi says the Galant’s engine is the largest in the midsize class — a 3.8-liter V-6 that produces 230 horsepower. The Galant also is available in a base trim level, which comes equipped with a 160-hp four-cylinder engine.
The Galant is wider and longer overall and rides a significantly longer wheelbase than the previous iteration. The sedan’s interior dimensions also have grown: Front shoulder room tops 57 inches, and rear legroom measures 37 inches. The chassis is the same one used for Mitsubishi’s new Endeavor sport utility vehicle.
Four versions will be available when the Galant goes on sale in late fall of 2003. All models now have four-wheel disc brakes. In the base DE trim level, the 2004 Galant’s price is expected to start under $19,000. High-volume ES, luxury LS and sporty GTS editions are also available.
The new Galant has a more rigid platform than its predecessor, and every body opening has been reinforced. Its wheelbase has grown by 4.6 inches, and it now measures 108.3 inches long. The sedan is 190.4 inches long overall and 72.4 inches wide and now rides standard 16-inch tires. The front and rear track widths have grown to nearly 62 inches, which the manufacturer says is the widest in the midsize segment.
Styling features include an angular nose, center grille pillar, a wedge-type hip-line and a raised rear deck. As described by Mitsubishi, the “sweeping roof arcs are uninterrupted from the A-pillar to the fast C-pillar.” Flush, three-dimensional taillights bring up the rear. Designers note that the Galant’s body “uses surface tension rather than character lines and ornamentation to create drama.”
In addition to 17-inch alloy wheels, the sporty GTS sedan gets large stabilizer bars, four-bulb projector headlights, parabolic fog lights and a mesh sport grille. Observers will see an integrated lip spoiler and custom taillights at the rear of the GTS model and hear what Mitsubishi calls a “baritone” exhaust note.
Five people fit inside the Galant. Passenger space now totals 101.3 cubic feet, and the soft-touch dashboard angles down toward the driver and front passenger. A three-ring instrument panel sits in a hooded compartment and makes use of ice blue illumination. Trunk space totals 13.3 cubic feet.
Standard equipment in the DE sedan includes a four-speed-automatic transmission, air conditioning, keyless entry, a 140-watt CD audio system, and power windows, locks and mirrors. The ES adds cruise control, titanium-style interior trim, upgraded lighting and premium cloth upholstery. The V-6-equipped LS includes a Sportronic automatic/manual transmission. The GTS features a leather-trimmed interior, a 270-watt Infinity premium audio system, side-impact airbags, a power driver’s seat and automatic climate control. Diamond and Leather option packages will be available.
Under the Hood
The Galant’s base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine features the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and Electronic Control (MIVEC); it now produces 160 hp and 157 pounds-feet of torque. The available 3.8-liter V-6 pumps out 230 hp and 250 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines drive a four-speed-automatic transmission, while a Sportronic manual/automatic transmission goes into the LS and GTS models.
Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are standard on V-6 models. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags are installed in the GTS sedan.
The Galant has always been a competent car. Stepping up from very good to significantly better in its latest redesign, Mitsubishi’s midsize is an appealing and capable touring sedan. Acceleration with the V-6 engine is energetic from a standstill, and it responds eagerly when it comes time to pass. Abruptness seldom occurs with the automatic transmission.
The Galant’s ride is generally smooth. Even though the GTS’s suspension is undeniably taut, it absorbs enough imperfections to take the edge off and even cushions a fair amount of harshness. The Galant’s steering effort feels about right, but it doesn’t quite reach the level of full precision.
The steering and handling characteristics vary with the model. The LS model felt better than the sportier GTS because its lighter steering seems more appropriate to a vehicle of this class. The LS also rides more gently and cushiony than the GTS.
The seats are definitely firm and feature strong support; they’re not exactly inviting but prove to be satisfying for a longer haul. Legroom in the rear seat is great, but headroom back there isn’t as good. The center rear occupant gets a hard perch with virtually no headroom. Thick B-pillars impair visibility over the left shoulder.